Other than the noted changes, Mass Effect is exactly how I remember it, great story beats, incredible voice acting, fun and engaging combat scenarios, and characters that you just want to hang out with. The Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is absolutely fantastic and overall an absurd amount of content for one bundle to contain. All three games have aged well, save for a few cringy lines of dialogue and player decisions. For new players, this is the way to experience ME. For old ME Vets, it’s an incredible look back. If there were one thing I would have liked to have seen included in this collection, it would have been some history extras. Behind the scenes, a documentary, VO outtakes, etc… Something, anything, Bioware would have had leftover to give us fans a little treat to celebrate the Mass Effect legacy. The Legendary Edition is worth every penny they ask for and you can’t go wrong with this purchase.
Rainbow Studios has been known for some high-profile off-road titles in the past, Motocross Madness and ATV Off-Road Fury, to name drop a few, so you’d think who else would you leave an off-roading property too. Underneath the issues I had with this game, something is promising here, and it’s something I’d have confidence in Rainbow fleshing out. As I mentioned before, I enjoy the physics; the trucks feel good to drive. The worlds are cool to look at, but there’s not much of a reward for exploring. The career has good bits but is ultimately bland and is a giant slog, leaving a poor aftertaste. Maybe it’s the licensed nature of the beast here, but I’m confident Rainbow Studios can knock it out of the park. They just didn’t do it this time.
There’s a vast amount of content in each destination to see and experience; you’ll actively want to try various ways to play. It’s a game that’s meant to be played repeatedly, and combined with Hitman 1 and 2; you’ll have a near-endless World of Assassination to explore. As with the previous two titles, an internet connection is required for challenge and progression unlocks. So if you’re looking to check off everything there is to do in the game and earn rewards, you’ll want to be connected to the Hitman servers. If Hitman 3 is your first entry, I wholly recommend picking up the unlocks for the older games; the phrase “worth the price of admission” couldn’t be any more accurate when speaking of the Hitman series. The World of Assassination continues to thrive, so be its savior or its terror 47, I leave you to prepare.
Watch Dogs Legion is good fun, even if I’m not a big fan of it’s setting. The “Be Anyone” mechanic is a welcome addition to the series and one I would miss if it were not included in future titles. In fact, I think you have to include it in all titles going forward as it’s that fun to have. I do hope they improve on the storytelling and voice modulation for future titles using this feature though.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is another incredible and densely packed experience crafted by the fantastic teams within Ubisoft. There’s so much to do and see in Valhalla, and yet, you’ll never feel overwhelmed. You could sit down with this game, pour over a hundred hours into it, and still crave more. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is the best Assassin’s Creed title to date. Now, let’s sound the horn and go raiding.
Criterion and Stellar Entertainment did an impressive job with this one; I’m still having a hell of a good time drifting turns and chasing perps. It’s a testament to how well made the original game was that it can be re-released 10 years later with some small graphical tweaks and still knock my socks off.
As with each title before it, Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! gave me that sense of accomplishment and satisfaction of a hard day's work in just a few minutes. For as frantic as things can get on screen, it still feels relaxing to me, being able to keep my mind focused on the task at hand. Who knew that cooking in a fake apocalypse is a good distraction from the real one?
I understand that the change in developers would cause 704 Games from touching too much, fearing too big a change could break it. It also gives them time to focus on next year’s product, as they become more familiar with the game engine and code left behind from Monster Games. It’s such a shame that they stalled the momentum they gained from the previous releases, though. Here’s hoping that with the next NASCAR Heat title, they will make some strides in improving the career and continue to deliver a fun racing experience.
There isn’t much to hate about this latest Battletoads; I found it a lot of fun. But I know that the humor will get on some people’s nerves and you’ll have a group of people out there that feel the combat is too repetitive. Oh, and of course, the lack of online co-op will upset some folks. But even with all that, I still feel as if Battletoads is a great way to spend your afternoon. Not to mention, it’s on Xbox Game Pass, so if you already subscribe, there’s nothing to lose by giving it a try. It’s crazy to think that after all these years, that there would be a good Battletoads game. Maybe we’re the ones stuck in a simulation, trapped in an alternate universe where Battletoads is good, and the world around us is terrible. If that’s the case, then let me out, let me out now. Just let me sneak a copy of this game with me, though, ok?
The underpinnings of a great racing sim are here, but for Assetto Corsa to branch out and hit that next level, it needs more next time. They have a physics engine that feels good, even if it’s too temperamental with a gamepad. The cars and the environments are stunning to look at, even if it’s not the best you’ll find on a PS4. It can even be fun to play, but with how dry the game feels, there isn’t any incentive for those other than your hardcore endurance sim fan to continue racing.